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Deepawali or Diwali

diwali, laxmi ganesh, lakshmi ganesh, deepawali

The word "Diwali" is the corruption of the Sanskrit word "Deepavali" -- Deep meaning light and Avali, meaning a row. It means a row of lights. Every home, the hut of the poor or the mansion of the rich - is alit with the orange glow of twinkling diyas-small earthen lamps - to welcome Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Multi-colored Rangoli designs, floral decorations and fireworks lend grandeur to this festival which heralds joy, and happiness in the coming year.

This Diwali festival, dates back to that period when history was not written, and in its progress through centuries it lighted the path of thousands to attain the ultimate good and complete ecstasy. Diwali or more aptly Deepawali is very enthusiastically celebrated for five continuous days and each day has its significance with a number of myths, legends and beliefs.

Shri Ram, ram, diwali, deepawali

In UP, Diwali finds its origins in the legend of Lord Rama (one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu) and his victory over the evil king, Ravana, who had kidnapped Sita, Rama’s wife. Rama, the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king after one month of fierce war with Ravana, the victorious Rama, Laxman and Sita returned to Ayodhya on this day. The whole city was decorated with flowers and garlands.

Every house adored beautiful look of cleanliness and was lighted with candles and lamps. Perfumes and scent filled the air. Every street was cleaned and watered, and decorated with hand-painted colorful designs.

Lakshmi Pooja, or the worship of the goddess of wealth, is the main event on Diwali in North and West India. It is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the cleanest house first. This is also the reason why the broom is worshiped on this day with offerings of haldi and kumkum (turmeric and vermilion). Lamps are lit in the evening to welcome the goddess. They are believed to light up her path.

lakshmi, laxmi, diwali, deepawali

Lakshmi Puja consists of a combined puja of five deities: Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta; Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Mahasaraswati (the goddess of books and learning), and Mahakali; Kuber (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.

Five types of fruits and flowers are offered to the Gods as well. Kulias (or small-sized gharas / earthen pots), are filled with kheel (puffed rice) with a batasha (a sweet made only out of sugar) are kept alongside. Lakshmi is also worshipped in the form of actual currency - silver or a gold coin in order that prosperity become a part of the household. Thereafter, an offering (in the form of some sweet or the other) is made to the Gods and everyone in the family partakes a bit from the same.

All the diyas, except the main one, are then picked up from the rangoli and taken to the darkest corners of the house in order to dispel the evil spirits, which may be hiding there.

Five Days Of Diwali Festival:

Religious Texts For Diwali Festival

 

Some Recipes for Diwali Dishes :